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What is Lead?

Lead is a naturally occurring, bluish-gray metal.  It is used in the production of batteries, ammunition, metal products, and devices to shield x-rays.

Historically, lead was added to paint for pigment, speed drying, to increase durability, retain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion.  However, as health experts began to understand the dangers of exposure to lead, in 1978 lead was banned as a paint additive.  Lead was also banned in 1996, in the United States, as an additive to gasoline.